How can Smoking Effect your Feet and Legs?

What comes to mind when you think of the common side effects of smoking?

Typically, most of us think that smoking only affects our heart and our lungs, right?

I’m sure you wouldn’t think that smoking affects your feet? Read more

How to Look after Elderly Feet.

It is hard to deny, our feet are important. Not only do they help us ambulate around but they also form the base of our body and work to help keep us upright. As we get older, so do our feet and as they do, there may be issues arising which may require assistance and care to keep us happy and healthy.

Podiatrist will often look at a persons feet and obtain a good insight into the general health of the patient. Factors such as skin texture, skin colour, thick or discoloured nails, uncomfortable or tight feeling skin or generalised pain in the legs of feet can be indicative of problems not often easily observed. Conditions commonly seen in the elderly population such as arthritis, diabetes or circulatory problems can easily cause any of the mentioned symptoms. This is why, much like a classic car, the older we get the more specialised care we need to keep our body healthy. Some common podiatry problems seen in the feet of elderly patients includes: Read more

What is Radial Shockwave Therapy

What is ShockWave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy (SWT) is an innovative, safe, and effective method to treat musculoskeletal pathologies.

The term “Shockwave therapy” refers to mechanical pressure pulses that expand as a wave within the human body.

The Swiss DolorCast machine creates these shockwaves/pressure pulses by producing acoustic wave energy which is delivered via the hand held gun to the body region experiencing pain. Read more

Why do my nails grow slower during winter?

‘I noticed my nails grow slower during winter’, is a comment that I commonly hear from patients who present to our podiatry clinic for regular treatments. Most people have ideas as to why they notice a decreased rate of growth in the colder months, but what are some of the concrete reasons as to why nail growth might slow during winter time? Some of the main reasons involved with reduced nail growth can be seen listed below. Read more

Using Toe Pressures to Assess Arterial Foot Health

The effect of diabetes on the feet and lower limbs has been well established both in literature and in clinical studies. Changes in the body can ultimately impact both the larger and smaller arteries in the lower limbs. Calcification of arteries as well as formation of thrombi (Blood clots) may lead to further problems that can end in death. As such, ankle systolic blood pressure measurements have been an important process in evaluating and monitoring lower limb arteries for onset of diseases such as peripheral arterial disease and critical limb ischaemia. Currently the most widely accepted method of assessing this is the Ankle Brachial Pressure Index (ABPI). Though this method is effective in identifying blockages in blood flow, recent studies have shown it to be unreliable in elderly patients, those with diabetes or chronic renal failure because the peripheral arteries may be incompressible as a result of calcification or blockages in these smaller arteries.

What does the Systolic Toe Pressure Machine Detect?

The newest technologies look to assess the systolic blood pressure in the toes as well as toe pressure indices. The readings are usually taken at the hallux. The results of these studies can be used to identify or screen for a number of medical conditions including:

  • Blockages in large and small blood vessels
  • Arterial insufficiency
  • Cardiac dysfunction
  • Ischaemia/intermittent claudication
  • Necrosis and amputation risks.

Read more

Diabetes and your feet – Part 3

Steps to care for your feet and keep them healthy

Having looked at the potential risks to the feet of a person with diabetes, this final installment will look at appropriate steps to take to keep the feet healthy and safe from potential injury and/or complications.

The Diabetes Association of Queensland has presented a 5 step protocol towards attaining healthy feet. The steps follow the below:

  • Caring for your feet

Wash and dry you feet daily ensuring that you dry well inbetween the toes. The best way to do this would be to use a towel.

Prevent the skin on your feet from getting dry by rubbing moisturiser daily. Moisturisers like sorbolene, vitamin E and aloe vera creams are a good way of maintaining moisture. It is important to remember however not to put moisturiser inbetween the toes as this region should be as dry as possible. Wearing socks also helps keen the skin from becoming dry.

Read more

How does Diabetes Effect your Feet (Part 2)

Diabetes and Associated Foot Complications

Building on our first piece on diabetes and their effect on feet, this week’s blog will focus on bringing light to some possible foot complications that may occur as a result of diabetes and some warning signs to look out for.
Diabetes can cause damage to your nerves and blood supply, putting your feet at greater risk of damage. This risk is only increased if the diabetes has been long standing, is poorly controlled (blood sugar levels are too high) or if the person is inactive or smokes. Changes in the blood that occurs from diabetes makes the feet and lower limbs more prone to infections and poor healing wounds. The fact that diabetes can also cause a loss of sensation in the feet, small and apparently harmless cuts can go unnoticed and with periods of weight bearing can break down and form ulcers that heal very slowly.

There are a number of signs and symptoms that need to be addressed immediately and others that can be taken care of regularly with the help of a podiatrist.

Some complications that require urgent medical attention include: Read more